The Artemis SLS rocket has finally passed a crucial test for its launch: the filling of deposits

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After almost a month of last minute postponements, the SLS rocket that will carry the first Artemis mission to space has passed a crucial test, the tank filling test. The US space agency has declared the success of the operation but it has not been without noting some problems in the process.

Deposits ready.
NASA announced yesterday at 4:59 p.m. (local time, 10:59 p.m. CET) that the refueling tests of the SLS rocket responsible for launching the first mission of the Artemis program had been a success. The tests had started almost 10 hours beforewith the go from launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson.

In declarations collected by the portal spacenews, Blackwell-Thompson confirmed the success “I think the test has gone really well. All the goals we had set for ourselves have been achieved today.”

Hydrogen leak.
in the statement in which he gave an account of the success of the operation, the North American space agency of the success in the four fixed objectives, but perhaps the most relevant was the first: to verify that the repairs of the hydrogen leak that caused the paralysis of the launch planned for the last September 3 had been duly repaired.

The remaining objectives were to load the propellants into the vehicle’s tanks through a new procedure, carry out a boot bleedand a test of pre-pressurization. The success was not round since in two moments of the day fuel leaks detected in charging devices. These leaks could be fixed without causing major problems.

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Almost ready.
The next date handled by NASA is September 27. However, Blackwell-Thompson itself refrained from ensuring that the rocket was ready. “I think we’ll take the data and go see what it tells us.” The director was cautious “I would like the team to have the opportunity to go see if there are changes that we have to make to our loading process, our schedule, or if we are doing well as is.”

In addition to the technical details, Artemis requires revalidate Space Force permit since it had expired after the last attempt.

To this we must add the weather situation. In recent days several storms, some active and others in formation, have been observed in the Caribbean area. One of these systems, Invest 98L, could reach Florida in the next few weeks.

What to expect from this first mission.
The Artemis 1 mission is the first mission of the US program that aims to return humans to the Moon during this decade. It is also the inaugural mission of the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket, NASA’s new super-heavy vehicle.

Artemis 1 will send an uncrewed Orion capsule (which will be replaced by mannequins in which the level of radiation received will be measured) to lunar orbit on a trip that will last between 26 and 42 days. The one-way trip to the Moon alone will take a week or two. The SLS will carry an additional payload of mini-satellites that will perform various missions.

The future of Artemis.
This mission should serve as a prequel to the next mission, Artemis 2, which this time will carry a manned capsule to lunar orbit. If everything goes according to plan, this mission will be carried out in 2024 or 2025. Artemis 3 will be in charge of carrying people to the lunar surface between 2025 and 2026.

We do not yet know if the delays that have caused the latest problems will affect the schedule planned by NASA or if they will be a drop in the sea of ​​delays that has been altering expectations regarding this project.

And lunar exploration.
Meanwhile, China continues to tighten the new space race. It recently announced the discovery of a new mineral on the Moon thanks to lunar soil samples collected as part of its lunar exploration program.

After completing the first three phases of its program, Beijing has set the start of the fourth in 2024. After placing two rovers on our satellite and having successfully collected samples of lunar soil, this would be the phase with which the Asian giant would try not only to take their taikonauts to the moon but rather establish a permanent presence there. China is backed in this endeavor by Russia, with whom it has signed an agreement to develop a lunar station.

Image | POT

After almost a month of last minute postponements, the SLS rocket that will carry the first Artemis mission to space…

After almost a month of last minute postponements, the SLS rocket that will carry the first Artemis mission to space…

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